When Windows 10 Redstone 4 is released in the near future, one of its key enhancements will be support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). The Microsoft Store on Windows 10 has cataloged its first batch of PWAs and this process will increase after the Redstone 4 update is finally made available to the general public.
While none of those 14 PWAs are necessarily block busters, one PWA that has been in the Microsoft Store for a few weeks is the official Twitter app.
Since its release last month, the Twitter PWA has only had two app updates through the Microsoft Store. However, it has received a handful of back end updates. These updates come in automatically to the end user as they interact with the service. In the case of the Twitter PWA, the most recent update was to add two new tabs to the Notifications area. You can see the screenshots below which show the before and after for the update. The new All tab shows every interaction from Twitter including Likes, RT’s, and Mentions. The Mentions tab just shows tweets that have your Twitter handle in them.
There was no fanfare when this update arrived – it just updated as I moved in between tabs in the app itself.
This is where the biggest benefit of Progressive Web Apps will come from – back-end updates. The owner of the service simply pushes their update to live servers. Then almost immediately that feature makes it way into the app experience for the end user.
Delivering New Features Immediately
The old Twitter Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app was sorely out of date before this Twitter PWA rolled out. The UWP app did not support 280 character tweets, images in Direct Messages, and a few other features. Now the app remains updated with the enhancements Twitter makes to the service as they are made available to everyone. No more delays in seeing new features.
Another wide benefit of PWAs on Windows 10 is the use of Service Workers. These are APIs that app developers can hook into so they can add notifications, live tiles, and offline caching/access to the framework around their Progressive Web Apps. Of course, that adds value to the end user and once they are added to the app then updates to the app in the Microsoft Store are not critical to delivering the user experience of the service.